I love cooking. Especially baking. My family, obviously, knows of my affection for the culinary arts and for my birthday a few weeks back, my mother and sister sent me a gift card to a local kitchen store to be spent on a cooking class.
I was thrilled, never having taken a cooking class, and signed up for the “Seafood Bounty” session as soon as I received their present.
I spent almost three hours at the store last night, and it was definitely a hit. I came out with some awesome seafood recipes and a better understanding of how to cook seafood, as well as to not be intimidated by it. As a Tennessee girl, we only made fish on special occasions. Since I’ve moved South, I figure I need to figure this out because fish? Is tasty. And healthy.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I walked into the store last night, and I was surprised there were almost 20 chairs, each with a little handout of recipes placed in it. The seats were arranged in front of the stove, and our teacher, Miko, and other ladies who worked at the store greeted everyone as they came in.
It became apparent that since the kitchen was so small, the class wasn’t going to be hands on. However, I feel like watching our teacher make the recipes was informative enough so whenever I make these recipes on my own, I won’t have any questions or be fumbling around in the dark.
The first dish served was sauteed crab claws.
These crab claws were lick-your-fingers (and maybe plate, too) good. I think everyone in the class was pleased with the first dish, and we anxiously awaited as Miko whipped up the next one. She chatted about a restaurant in New Orleans, talking about oysters on the half shell and poboys, as she prepared the next dish, fielding questions as she cooked.
Shortly after, we tried the margarita shrimp.
This was probably my favorite recipe of the evening. The shrimp were marinated in olive oil and various spices for a few hours, then thrown on the grill (pan) and brushed with a sweet margarita sauce as they cooked.
The spices gave the shrimp a kick, then the margarita cooled you down. They were delicious, and I will definitely be making these for a dinner party or something similar in the future.
Next, seared scallops with a blueberry gastrique.
Before last night, I had never had a gastrique. Or ever paired a seafood, like scallops, with a berry. I was skeptical when I first saw the recipe, but the combination was amazing. I am convinced whenever I make this gastrique at my own home, I could probably drink it out of glass. It was THAT tasty.
And the last dish of the night was Flounder Jerry.
The recipe we were given can be used for any kind of light, white fish, but since the flounder at the seafood store looked best, Miko purchased that. This is her father’s recipe. Simple and easy, but delicious. Dredge the flounder in flour. Place it on the grill, and let it cook for just a few minutes, flip, then pop in the oven. The fish is topped with a browned butter sauce with capers, a crab meat sauce and toasted almonds.
All in all, it was a successful evening, and I hope I can take another cooking class soon because this one was a lot of fun. There’s nothing like spending your evening eating good food, drinking wine and conversing with interesting people.